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Old 14th August 2019, 11:39   #16
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Originally Posted by am1m View Post
Can't imagine opening and running a restaurant ever! Gotta be one of the hardest jobs in the country (unless you're backed by a ton of cash I guess).

Remember stopping just outside Mumbai on the way to Pune, fancy place and was witness to an argument between the restaurant manager and a customer. The customer's contention was that she shouldn't be charged more than mrp for a bottle of water. The manager's take was that the price was clearly mentioned on the menu, if she didn't want the water, she shouldn't have ordered it and could have used the water from the glasses placed on the table.

Now legally I don't know who was correct (personally, I think that if it's clearly mentioned on the menu, then that is enough for customers to make a choice). But the attitude of the customer was clearly wrong, she went on to say that she was a lawyer, she would get the restaurant shut down, the manager fired, started taking a video of the whole thing, basically kicking up a real fuss. The manager remained calm and professional, but what a job dealing with people like this everyday! And that's not even considering the permits and other government red tape just to open and run!
Actually it doesn't require a lot of money to open a restaurant unless it is a large format and with fancy interiors and lots of overheads. One needs to bite what one can chew. There is room for all types.

This MRP issue is not a contentious one at all and I am surprised so many restaurant owners and managers are not trained to handle this. Supreme Court verdict on the matter is very clear - MRP is applicable for retail outlets only. A restaurant is not a retail outlet. A customer buying an MRP product is entitled to use the restaurant premises to consume it (whether he or she chooses to or not), or have it served at the table, both of which are added services. In my restaurant I had briefly put up a notice communicating the same. If any vigilante customer ever asked me how I could charge more than MRP, I would politely point them towards the notice. I also kept a copy of the Supreme Court order with me. That is enough to avoid further arguments.

My guess is that most such customers are simply being jerks because they think restaurant staff are pushovers. The same people would happily pay twice or thrice the MRP of a beer bottle in a pub. Have you ever heard of anyone fighting with the manager of a pub over price of beer?

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Originally Posted by richie4u View Post

So a quick one, I do not know if you've come across this situation or what happens when your customer has relished his meals and when it's time to pay up, he replies with no money/forgot wallet, how do you handle such a situation?
In today's age of app based payments it is highly unlikely that one will ever be in this situation. UPI has made it easier as it is linked directly to the bank account and eliminates the need to load the e-wallet.

Having said that, one way to avoid it is to have customers pay before they consume the meal. This is the format I follow. However, some regular customers will prefer to pay after the meal, which is ok as I am confident that they will eventually pay. So no, I have never had a customer who has not paid.

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Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post
Hilarious . Thoroughly enjoyed reading it. What would you call a customer like me?

I have been going to this restaurant since the last 22 of my 26 years and ordering the exact same dish. Ok, maybe once or twice I did order something else.

One question - What happens to the pickles and onions that people don't eat? I always wondered this as its impossible for anyone to finish the pickles at the minimum. Cant there be something done to reduce wastage of this?
Customers like you are not problematic at all! In fact predictable customers help us manage inventory and production better. The best way to avoid waste of items like pickle is to keep a small jar on the table and let people take what they want. Nothing can be done about onions. Leftovers need to be discarded.

One has to keep their eyes open and see who is wasting what on a regular basis and ask them if they would like something else instead. Of course this does not work with one off customers.

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Relieved to hear that.

Incidentally, how is your experience with customers who have special dietary requirements, such as those on a vegan diet, gluten free diet, have nut allergies, etc.?
I have come across some vegan customers but none with gluten/nut issues. In my experience such customers are aware that their options are limited and do not create much fuss.

I can accommodate vegan customers by offering veg food without butter/cream and curd etc. I don't claim to serve gluten free food as I don't know what contains gluten and what does not.

Mods - sorry for back to back posts. Please merge.

Last edited by ajmat : 16th August 2019 at 15:20.
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Old 14th August 2019, 14:19   #17
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1. Customers who scan the menu every day with the patience and silence required to analyse a legal document and then order the same dish, every day
I belong at the other end of the spectrum! I usually eat from a certain group of dishes in any restaurant, so I rarely look at the menu but order straightaway! And only while eating I will browse the menu to see if any interesting dessert is listed!
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Old 14th August 2019, 20:26   #18
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I have come across some vegan customers but none with gluten/nut issues. In my experience such customers are aware that their options are limited and do not create much fuss.

I can accommodate vegan customers by offering veg food without butter/cream and curd etc. I don't claim to serve gluten free food as I don't know what contains gluten and what does not.

Mods - sorry for back to back posts. Please merge.
Reminds me of the one time when I was flying Delta and they'd given us all snacks - peanuts. But there came an announcement - asking us all not to open the packs as there was someone with a peanut allergy on board. That was the first time I had ever heard of anyone have peanut allergy - have never heard of any Indians have it.

Your statement about gluten also made me laugh - what is gluten actually?

Nice set of observations - I really wanted to start a restaurant in India and even after coming to the US, I toyed with the idea for a few years.
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Old 14th August 2019, 20:45   #19
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Originally Posted by Malyaj View Post

Here are some of those peculiar customers :

1. Customers who scan the menu every day with the patience and silence required to analyse a legal document and then order the same dish, every day

6. The clueless customer – These are generally extremely goody-goody customers who come in large groups and for whom food has as much importance in life as a bicycle has for a fish. Sometimes I use gimmicky names to promote ‘today’s special’ such as ‘Chandni chowk walay chhole kulchay’. These folks don’t get a single word out of the 5 in the name and have only one question - ‘Veg hai na?’. On hearing ‘yes’ they have only one thing to say - ‘we will have 8 of them’. I love such customers and want to hug them. They uncomplicate my life.
That's me in two different scenarios! I am myself in first one to such an extent that the Mcdonald's counter girl, one day literally completed my order looking at me talking over phone - "and sir a coke without ice and fries with piri piri, right?" I smiled and said "Right"!

And second one is me in a group when nobody is able to decide; my entire gang is like "bhaiya apke pass best kya hai (what's the best thing you have)"
The waiter tells some name and we are always like "sabke liye ek ek (one for everyone)"

PM me the name and address of your restaurant; if I come alone then be ready with 'Dal Makhni' and if it's a friend or two, just be ready with one gimmicky name!

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Originally Posted by srini1785 View Post
I usually enter a restaurant with a fixed menu in mind with a plan B in case A is not available
Exactly same here, in my case the Plan A is always point no. 1 and Plan B is point no. 6 for sure, these guys at times write the names in such a manner that after reading the name and description, I am always searching for a waiter to become my food consultant for that hour! :-D

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48 normal sized people.
I somehow managed to stop laughing and then this happened! Super 'LOL'!

@Mods: We desperately need 'thumbs up' button in some threads. Please do provide one here!

Last edited by Rehaan : 16th August 2019 at 15:29. Reason: Removing 3rd smiley, as per the rules :)
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Old 14th August 2019, 21:34   #20
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Reminds me of the one time when I was flying Delta and they'd given us all snacks - peanuts. But there came an announcement - asking us all not to open the packs as there was someone with a peanut allergy on board. That was the first time I had ever heard of anyone have peanut allergy - have never heard of any Indians have it.

Your statement about gluten also made me laugh - what is gluten actually?
I had no clue about these allergies until a few years back. When I started hearing about them more frequently I thought this was just the creation of some attention seeking hypochondriacs who had led an extremely charmed existence and had to invent something to be grumpy about.

I have heard of this peanut panic on flights elsewhere too. Not sure if it affects a person that easily or it's just another person having a bad day and wanting to make things difficult for everyone else.

Gluten is apparently some protein that occurs in grains, and gets all hyperactive in bread and similar things. In my entire life in India I haven't come across a single person claiming to suffer from these allergies. Or maybe they were suffering and were always blaming something else.

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PM me the name and address of your restaurant; if I come alone then be ready with 'Dal Makhni' and if it's a friend or two, just be ready with one gimmicky name!
Glad you enjoyed the post! I will PM the name and address of the restaurant. Do visit us The meal will be on us !
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Old 14th August 2019, 22:06   #21
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Types of restaurants and owners
1. The unhygienic ones.
2. The ones where the owner doubles up as the waiter and exclaims with a "great choice" for any dish you order.
3. The ones which say, give us a good review on Zomato or FB and show us that to get 5% off next time.
4. Places that include GST in the bill amount but will give you the receipt only if you insist.
5. Places that overcharge you for mineral water.
6. Theme based restaurants. I mean who goes to restaurants based on the theme they have to offer.
7. Restaurants that come up with really unique, quirky names for dishes they have to offer.
8. Places that serve reheated rotis, kebabs and grilled chicken. I have been eating them for years and I can tell what's made fresh and what's been reheated. Take your "15 minutes" but serve fresh. Don't bluff there.
9. Places that have menus which remind me of my history textbooks in school. Then there are places that have simple laminated paper menus which they haven't changed since 2 years - fully torn and bruised.

After eating out for so many years I usually prefer to go to heritage places i.e places that have been around for 50 years or so kind.

I prefer places that have just 10 items on their menu but do all of them exceptionally well.

If I happen to go to a place that has a menu with 100 items I usually order the first known dish that I lay my eyes on. In unknown places order what most others are ordering.

Don't order Hyderabadi biryani in Delhi and Rajma chawal in Chennai.

Last edited by bharatbits : 14th August 2019 at 22:24.
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Old 14th August 2019, 22:38   #22
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@Malyaj...encountered similar instances in our restaurants too..

Our family owns few Indian restaurants in US along with few Sandwich stores and I would like to share a couple of instances of me standing behind the POS/Billing counters.

We have fixed meal combos for lunches where the customer can quickly chose an option, pay at the counter and take his token and place it on his number stand. Our staff serve them at their table. Lunch times were generally overcrowded, this combo options are good both for customer as well as us for quick turnaround time. Last year, a desi Techie walks in with his team of 8(including few Americans). He started ordering Ala-Carte items slowly browsing through the menu. My Bro-in-Law was checking his order while I was working on another POS. The Techie approximately took 10 minutes to order all his items totaling 290$. My Bro-in-Law requested him to chose a table and order leisurely, but somehow techie was in no mood to listen and spell out his entire order at the counter, leaving behind a long queue of waiting guests. Post that lunch session, me an Bro-in-Law realized that the techie avoided the mandatory TIP of 15% which would get added to his bill(table orders) once the table strength exceeds 5 members. All this tamasha to save some 45$. Few of the guests in queue left meanwhile owing to the delay. From then on we placed a small notice to accept only combo orders or less than 3 items at the counter.

Again a Techie(CEO of a Desi Consultancy) who used to frequent our restaurant had a strange request and guess what, I was behind the counter that day. As many of us knew, most of the combos/dishes are more than what most of us can handle in a single meal. So many guests pack the left-overs. Now this techie wants me to take a Kid's meal order from him, as he eats only half of adult-combos and rest goes waste. I politely refused and said the 5$ kid's meal is actually meant only for kids and he can ask my staff for To-Go boxes if food is leftover or even ask staff to decrease the portion size so as not to waste food.

I have never faced any similar issue when I was behind counters of our WhichWich sandwich stores, customers have been always graceful.

All in all its fun to share such experiences standing on either side of the billing counters...
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Old 15th August 2019, 00:44   #23
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If I judge myself as a customer, I am the type who prefers a personal touch from the owner or the Chef.

I have gotten it at three instances:

Maa Durgma Restaurant: This is a pretty cheap place in Lucknow (consider it as a dhaba with ACs) but the food is too good. The owner here always greets me whenever I enter and visits the table at least once. We are regular to this place.

Marriot Amritsar: The Chef himself came to our table, suggested some local delcacies, made sure everything was upto our satisfaction. The only time, when I actually felt I was at a 5 star hotel. (Though we have been to many in the past few years)

Shri Rajbhog: This is in Lucknow too. A good place for Rajasthani cuisine. The owner here visited our table many times and when we praised one dish, he had it brought again and served even though we were resisting a bit, just like a family member does. (This was a buffet so he wasn't doing this for the money).
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Old 15th August 2019, 12:01   #24
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@Malyaj...encountered similar instances in our restaurants too..

......the techie avoided the mandatory TIP of 15% which would get added to his bill(table orders) once the table strength exceeds 5 members. All this tamasha to save some 45$.

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Now this techie wants me to take a Kid's meal order from him, as he eats only half of adult-combos and rest goes waste. I politely refused and said the 5$ kid's meal is actually meant only for kids and he can ask my staff for To-Go boxes if food is leftover or even ask staff to decrease the portion size so as not to waste food.
Thanks for sharing your experiences. Here in India life is a little simpler. Anyone can order anything, kid or adult, service or no service. Unless of course the service area is a separate section altogether
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Old 15th August 2019, 13:55   #25
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Ha ha Malvaj
What a fantastic sense of humour!
The chicken which was the Pharaoh's favourite pet was the best!

Seriously some of the guests at restaurants or hotels and/ or customers at stores can really drive the staff up the wall.
I used to be in the Hotel Industry and can easily relate to some of these experiences.
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Old 15th August 2019, 14:19   #26
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1. Customers who scan the menu every day with the patience and silence required to analyse a legal document and then order the same dish, every day
I've been that customer more than once, minus the scanning of the menu part. First was when I was working in Bangalore during the early 2000s. A friend and I used to go to the Empire restaurant on Residency Road (not sure if it's still there) almost every evening for dinner and order the same things. The waiters were so familiar with us that a smile, wave of the hand, even a little signal with the eyebrows or shake of the head was enough to get us what we wanted.

It used to be the same with a Kebab joint near our home which my wife and I used to frequent when I was working in France. This one was more a result of language problem, but after some time we had to just show up at the joint and smile to get a take away of our favorite kebab combo.
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Old 15th August 2019, 14:51   #27
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Nice thread buddy.
When I was in Restaurant business few years back with my brother we had typical NETA ( Politico Type ) people visiting. They would expect free food not only for themselves but for their drivers and other staff as well. Had to politely deny them, the free food service.
Secondly people demanding discounts on orders claiming other restaurants are dolling them. I had a slogan put up at my place" Customer is king and king never bargains". Next time if anyone would request a discount, I would gently point him towards the slogan and the person would pay in full.
Restaurant is a tricky business to run. You have to plug lots of gaps. If you manage to do that, its gonna be success for sure.
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Old 15th August 2019, 18:51   #28
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Are the ever proliferating Social Media " foodie" groups affecting the business?

I am a member of a few Kerala based ones but find they are fast loosing effectiveness because of the number of biased reviews they get flooded with.
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Old 15th August 2019, 20:06   #29
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It is, after a very long time, that I am hooked to a thread in team-bhp. You have a really hilarious way of putting things, some of which like the kid wiping your board clean, would have had me fuming at the parents. It is always good, whichever profession be it, to have a point of view from the other side of the table.

I can understand the irritating bits but I always feel majority of the people out there are good and do not fall into any of these types. Personally, whenever I go to a new place, I make it a point to check whats the 'specialty' of the place, or the chef's favorite dish. which I invariably try unless it's too spicy or sweet.

My sister in law used to run a cafe in Cochin till a year back, when she had to shut shop due to heavy losses. While the issues were several, one problem she frequently reported were the veiled threats/ blackmails by social media influencers who can make a very strong impact these days. Have you faced any such issues?
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Old 15th August 2019, 20:06   #30
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What an entertaining reading it was. I enjoyed every bit of it and was able to identify some of the types to myself.

One question - How do you sync the food orders? Many a time I see diners coming after or ordering after me receive their food earlier. Do you club the cooking if the same dish is ordered from different tables?


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Originally Posted by Malyaj View Post
9. The ‘brother-in-law’ customer (called ‘saala’ in Hindi) – This guy thinks he is part owner of the restaurant, bosses around with the staff, asks the waiter to serve things that he has not ordered at the counter and always wants to pay the ‘next time’.
Cheers!
Does it mean they don't want to pay?
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